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Canon O'Donnell Community Centre, Western Road

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On 27 Apr 2008 at 5:21pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
This weeks Sussex Express has an interesting article about the Canon O'Donnell Community Centre in Western Road.
It is promising to read that the Planning department at Lewes District Council are currently resisting an absurd plan to demolish the building. I was under the impression that a sound planning decision was virtually extinct in Lewes District Council - something of a Holy Grail - maybe I have been misguided.
The article went on to advise the readers that the architects who submitted the planning application to demolish this unique building were in fact the same ones responsible for designing the wholly inappropriate Pantworks in the town centre. I wonder if the planning department are cautious about the quality and longevity of this companies erections?
But the article got even better and ended on an amusing note; the developer belly-aching about not making enough profit if forced to restore and convert the existing Canon O'Donnell Community Centre! Oh how my heart bleeds!
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On 27 Apr 2008 at 5:30pm Prufrock wrote:
Lets hope LDC are waking up - I doubt it. Certainly the number of ludicrous applications shows no sign of slowing. In my part of Lewes, Rees Elliott Ltd with their noted sense of design and scale have submitted a plan for 10 (ten) flats on East Street at the side of the Old Library. It will be brick red, white and blue and. at four storeys, higher, wider and deeper than all the buildings around it. The architects own the office next door. In their application they say that neighbours were consulted. This appears to be them - neat huh?
 
 
On 27 Apr 2008 at 6:40pm The Tooth Fairy wrote:
Just a smoke screen to appease the electorate Spinster. The Canon O'Donnell will be comming down later rather than sooner. Astley House over the road will be next. It's a case of 'well, we don't just approve everything that gets shoved in front of us, you know'. If only it were true.
 
 
On 27 Apr 2008 at 9:31pm Enoch wrote:
I agree with The Tooth Fairy. It will be thrown out a couple of times until the planning committee get what they want out of it and it will come down - just like the walls of Church Twitten.
 
 
On 27 Apr 2008 at 11:18pm Smiler wrote:
Its not that a very attractive building though is it?
What the area needs is a few modernist affordable flats and a nice art gallery!
 
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On 29 Apr 2008 at 1:10pm George Doors wrote:
Perhaps they might call it the Irish quarter??
 
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On 30 Apr 2008 at 9:07am PRINT wrote:
suspicions valid - article misreported;comments were on preliminary plans - planner, Mr Young now in favour of amended plans and had said so at least a week before the steve Holloway report. watch this space in Sussex Express; or of a cynical disposition don't bother.By the way my mother was a fire officer during the war,sees the building as a much loved Lewes icon - and is very nervous.Polishing her tin hat in fact
 
 
On 30 Apr 2008 at 9:14am print wrote:
Foot note: these people were also responsible for the illustrious Caffyns development.
 
 
On 30 Apr 2008 at 3:33pm Hybrid wrote:
Lewes High Street has some lovely buildings and great character but the Canon O Donnell certainly isn't one of them, the building is an eyesore and is of little architectural value.
Spinster it may make you laugh that the developer may not make money through restoring it but the sad fact is that money is the driving factor behind any development and noone can be forced into restoration.
The dilema is that no one will pay to renovate it and most object to its demolition so it will probably just remain there at the end of our High Street for years, slowly falling to pieces, if thats what adds character then so be it!
 
 
On 1 May 2008 at 10:35pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
Hybrid,
I'm not laughing - I find the motivation in making money at the expense of other important things very sad.
I rather like the Canon O Donnell building although it is not looking it's best at the moment! Removal of the boards would improve it no end.
 
 
On 3 May 2008 at 8:45am print wrote:
You may have missed, at the blink of an eye, the Sussex Express's mea culpa over the damaging misreporting of the planners' opinion of the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the CanonO'Donnell;page 11 - 'but their views changed following discussionswith developers, says a council spokeswomanand the planners were now understood to be looking more positively at the application."
Worth noting that Peter Young, planner in charge of the application had told me a week before the newspaper report that he was in favour of the application as was the design and Conservation Officer - Chris Morris. Mr Morris now says that he has not made up his mind. Letters to the editor on this subject were not published. this proposed development is really a metaphor for the current planning shambles in Lewes - the plundering of community space meant for us all - including the less powerful - for ugly private investment (certainly no affordable housing here ) Processes seem somewhat opaque.
 
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On 3 May 2008 at 11:16am PRINT wrote:
Not sure either how planning dept calls in advice before making a decision; how can they say they are in favour of the proposed redevelopment of the Canon O'Donnell Hall when Highways are yet to be consulted. Kal Pegler whose brief it is told me this week that it was well down in her intray and she hadn't yet looked at the proposal. Traffic danger is a crucial player in this proposed development which incidently provides only two off street parking places whilst taking at least one for access - and another perhaps for the proposed car share, a scheme which the council admits it has no mechanisms to police - there just to provide a head wind for the development :as was the ludicrous suggestion by the planner Mr Young that the new church rooms at St Pancreas would provide the lost community space. (hence no change of usage!) The parish priest has said that this is definately not the case. the new rooms built presumably from the funds raised by the sale of our community centre will be for the parish only - as the geographical position within the church grounds attests! He advised me to try other venues in town such as theYMCA.
 
 
On 6 May 2008 at 12:08pm Roy wrote:
For your info traffic comes under those 'experts' at county. If they deem it OK then the LDC have to accept their view!!
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On 6 May 2008 at 2:07pm print wrote:
Whilst saving the Canon O'Donnell Hall (objections need to be in very soon) should you be a betting person, perhaps you could try to save, by patronage, the independent bookies on Western Road: usual story - internet and corporation competition is crippling them. Strangely, I do see the two as related - both provide public 'social' space despite the twin opiates of religion and gambling...Thankyou for the info. Roy.
 
 
On 6 May 2008 at 4:53pm Hybrid wrote:
Thank you 'PRINT' for highlighting yet another rather poor article about the Canon O'Donnell Centre, I had read the first one, but had missed this one. I agree with the opinions that the loss of the community hall would be a real shame, but I find the councillor's opinions published in the article very hypocritical seeing as the council no longer use the building themselves because it is 'not fit for purpose'.
Regarding your last point, perhaps we should all gamble more? That would keep the bookies afloat, then, once broke and addicted, we could use the Canon O'Donnell for 'Gamblers Anonymous' meetings?
 
 
On 6 May 2008 at 10:12pm Roy wrote:
Which Council and which Councillor?
 
 
On 17 May 2008 at 10:37am print wrote:
Norman Baker has confirmed that Lewes District Council is still taking representations with regard to planning applicationLW/08/0345 despite the deadline being 2 May.So Should you wish you can still object to the demolition and redevelopment of this community centre.


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